Friday, January 6, 2017

How Do I Keep My Divorce Private?

Keeping divorce private can be summed up in one word: Mediation.

In divorce mediation, there are:

1. No public court hearings;
2. No depositions;
3. No submissions of evidence;
4. No courtroom testimony;
5. No discovery;

With mediation, we can file your divorce documents in a foreign jurisdiction so nothing is even filed in your local court.

All negotiating is done in the privacy of the mediator’s office. After coming to an agreement on the pertinent issues in the divorce, the mediator drafts the couple’s decisions into a Marital Settlement Agreement, which is then signed by a Judge and filed with the Court.

I have helped high-profile clients like sports team franchise owners, TV personalities, politicians, business owners and real estate moguls get divorced using this method. They were so grateful that their financial information was not published in the Business Journal, that their net worth was not on the front page of the newspaper, and the profit-and-loss statements of their businesses were not aired on the 10:00 news.

No reporter or business competitor knows where to even try to find the financial information that needed to be filed with the Court. No information from these cases has ever been leaked to the media.

Now, you don’t have to be a millionaire to want your financial affairs to be kept private. If you litigate, your financial information will be subject to cross-examination, you will typically have to submit tax returns as answers to Request for Production of Documents, and you will have to disclose all debts to the Court. Hearings and trials are public, and your neighbors and in-laws or even business competitors may attend. So, the issue of privacy can be just as important to you as a high profile couple. Again, privacy can be summed up in one word: Mediation!

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